Saturday, April 14, 2007

Questions For Two Profs

Below is a post in full from Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson’s blog.

KC has been a leader in the fight for justice for the three young man framed in the public mind by false and racially inflammatory “news reporting” by the Raleigh News & Observer and others in media at the same time they were framed during “the investigation” by DA Nifong, certain Durham Police and others.

Following Johnson’s post are parts of three comments from the post thread.

I've reviewed the entire thread as of 9:30 PM Eastern, Saturday, April 14.

I end my post with copies of emails I’ve sent Duke professor Sheryl Broverman and KC.

HERE'S KC JOHNSON'S POST (KC's comments in italics):

The day that AG Roy Cooper dismissed all charges and declared the players innocent, it seemed as if we had another example of unfortunate conduct by a Duke professor. Newsday quoted Biology professor Sheryl Broverman (who is not one of the Group of 88) as suggesting that we'll never know the truth of what happened. It turns out, however, that Broverman's comments were taken considerably out of context.

Broverman e-mailed me shortly after the article appeared, but Wednesday through Friday was unusually hectic, and I just have gotten through this week's e-mails today. I quote her response in full
In order to avoid a misunderstanding, I would like clarify my my comments as quoted in Newsday today. I was contacted by the reporter initially to talk about DukeEngage. He then asked me for my opinion about the expected dropping of all charges against the students. I was unaware that this was about to happen. I made the mistake of trying to provide a nuanced commentary on the difficulty of prosecuting rape in general. Many cases, some of which are valid accusations, are dismissed for lack of evidence. I think all of us would also agree that "normal legal procedures" did not happen under Nifong's leadership! Do I want the students to be guilty? Of course not. Do I accept that there is not sufficient evidence to go forward? Sure. Do I wish the lack of evidence had been acknowledged last spring? Absolutely! Who doesn't? However, I still maintain that rape is hard to prosecute, and that IN GENERAL lack of evidence does not mean a crime was not committed. However, I did not mean to suggest that I thought these students should be prosecuted.

In science, if the data doesn't support the hypothesis, you drop or modify the hypothesis. However, if the data doesn't exist because the experiment didn't work, one can't conclude anything. Looking at how Nifong handled the case, "the experiment didn't work" and one can't conclude anything. Listening to AG Cooper this afternoon, I accept that the data does not support the hypothesis, which in real life means that charges should be dropped.
People of good faith, it seems to me, can disagree over whether this case shows that rape law has bent too far in favor of prosecutors, and I suspect I would be more inclined to take that position than Prof. Broverman. About the Duke case itself, however, I agree with everything she says in the statement above.
Now parts of three reader comments on the thread of KC's post:
Comment One ---
Broverman's rationalization is so nuanced, that it is twisted!

She wrote: "However, if the data doesn't exist because the experiment didn't work, one can't conclude anything."

I take great pride in being a scientist myself.

This is not a case of the data failing to support the hypothesis. This is a case of the data totally disproving the hypothesis!!

The fact that the DNA came back totally negative PROVED that the hypothesis was wrong!!

If a woman showed up in the hospital weeks after being raped, a reasonable person would not expect to find DNA, so the absence of DNA would prove nothing. This case is RATHER DIFFERENT, however.
Comment two ---
In science, if one forms a hypothesis and the experiment yields overwhelming indication that the hypothesis is false, it must be discarded. The hypothesis in this case was, "A rape occurred."

At this moment in time, ALL evidence (and there is a great deal) points to the negative of that hypothesis. Ipso facto, one must conclude, as the state AG did, there was no rape and therefore there cannot be any rapists. Recall the use of the term "innocent?"

This biology type must have a dual major in race/class/gender studies. Her "logic" is unsound.
Comment three ---
Is it just me, or is Broverman STILL saying the players could very well have raped Mangum, but she's generously accepting that it can't be proved? This is a far, far cry from saying there is no evidence a crime occurred.
My email to Professor Broverman:
Dear Professor Broverman:

I’m a Duke alum and blog as John in Carolina.

I’ve read KC Johnson’s post which contains in full your email to him.

Nowhere in your email do you say you agree with NC Attorney General Roy Cooper’s conclusion: “Innocent.”

Do you?

If not, why not?

You say: “I still maintain that rape is hard to prosecute, and that IN GENERAL lack of evidence does not mean a crime was not committed. However, I did not mean to suggest that I thought these students should be prosecuted.”

Actually, Professor Broverman, rape is not “hard to prosecute” even when there's no evidence one occurred.

Not only that, many attorneys tell me rape is one of the easiest crimes to prosecute: all it often takes is the word of an accuser who media tell everyone is “the victim.”

I hear that from both female and male attorneys. What do you hear?

I’ll publish your response to this email in full up to 600 words as an “Update” to my post you’ll find at this URL:

If you request I publish your response as a “stand alone” post with only a brief orientation for “new readers,” I’ll do that.


John in Carolina
Email to KC Johnson:

Dear KC,

Regarding your response to Professor Broveraman, I question whether you meant to ignore her failure to say she agreed David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann are, as NC Attorney General Cooper said: “Innocent.”

I'm troubled by your telling your blog readers concering Broverman:
“About the Duke case itself, however, I agree with everything she says in the statement above.”
I hope that’s not really what you meant to say.

Here’s a link to my post on the matter:

As with any response I receive from Broverman, I’ll publish your response in full at JinC.

Thank you.


Folks, I'll keep you posted on what I hear.


The Churchill Series – Apr. 13, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

I owe you all an apology. I dropped the series for a few days without giving you an explanation.

You all must know I was using my “blog time” to keep up with Hoax events this week. I’ve no apology for that, but I should have put up a notice. I’m sorry I didn’t.

Now, having given you an apology you were owed, I’ll end this post with an explanation you are owed.

Near the end of last year I posted once with a link to a Nazi propaganda cartoon concerning the Churchill-Roosevelt relationship. Some of you asked for more posts on Nazi propaganda treatment of Churchill.

I said I'd do that sometime in the first part of 2007.

It’s a fascinating subject for study but it’s also complex. You need a good deal of background to write on it, even in posts of 4 or 5 hundred words.

Some Nazi propaganda concerning Churchill is easily understood. Example: He was subservient to Roosevelt who the Nazis regularly portrayed as secretly a Jew. The target audiences for that stuff were the German people and those in Nazi-occupied and neutral countries who were anti-Semitic.

Other Nazi propaganda takes considerable explaining. Example: A cartoon of Churchill eating a sumptuous meal while in a distant corner a very skinny French family stands weeping. Churchill is eating off the wing of a fighter plane. A fighter plane wing? That’s an odd dinner table.

How to explain that piece of Nazi propaganda? It circulated after the Germans had introduced food rationing in France and played on the belief, widely held among the French during WW II (and still held by many of them today), that in May and June, 1940 the British, at Churchill’s insistence, withheld much of the RAF from the battle for France in order to preserve it as a defense force for Britain.

Churchill did make a decision to withhold some fighter squadrons from the battle but only after he was convinced they were planes which could do no good in the battle conditions over France because of certain limitations those fighters had (some of you no doubt know I'm referring to the Hurricane fighter), whereas they could be useful (and indeed proved to be essential) in defensive air battles such as he knew would soon occur over Britain.

The cartoon naturally had the French as a target audience. But the cartoon was also widely distributed in Germany so German people would “understand just who was responsible” for their government’s food rationing in France. A third group targeted by the cartoon were French workers who’d come to Germany as part of what was really a labor conscription program with the “inducement to volunteer” often being extra rations for the workers’ families back home.

Anyway I was putting a file together with some links to illustrations and reading up for background. Then I lost the file.

I’ll try again but it will be awhile.

Have a wonderful weekend.


For JinC Regulars & Commenters – 4/14/07

(A post in the old web log tradition: Notes at the end of the day for those who know the material. Don’t look for background and links here.)

I’ve said it already but one more time: It was wonderful to hear Cooper say
“Innocent.” And thanks to everyone one of you who did things to help bring that about.

On the “short” this afternoon I said: “So much is happening.”

Example: Most of you saw 4/12 Khanna’s story disclosing, she said, what was withheld from the N&O’s Mar. 25 fraudulent story featuring the anonymous interview. There was a lot more to the $/12 story which clearly had as its purpose shifting blame for the N&O’s trashing of the lacrosse team onto Mangum.

Before posting on the 4/12 story I wanted to compare it very carefully with the original 3/25 story and what N&O reporters & editors have said about it from 3/25 until now.

I’d started work on that yesterday (Thurs. 4/12) and planned to get a post up on 4/12. A little later on 4/12 I got a call the N&O would have a story today (4/13) based heavily on Mangum’s medical, criminal, psychiatric, and occupational history. Basically I was told the N&O is going to put most of what it’s had for months out there.

You must have seen Craig Jarvis’ “Mangum’s life: conflicts, contradictions.” That was obviously the story folks were talking about.

On 4/12 the info Jarvis supposedly had would influence what I was planning to post re: N&O 3/25 fraud story.

So I laid that post on the N&O’s 3/25 story aside and went to work on another post concerning the N&O’s plans to bar anonymous commenters from commenting at its blogs. I also spent time gathering info on “Vigilante” related events.

But I’m not forgetting the 3/25 story. I just want to be able, when I post on it, to offer you something that’s worth your time reading.

While you wait, a few questions: Khanna is getting the blame for that story but how many editors at a paper the size of the N&O (M-F circu. 160K about; Sun. circu. 190K about; est. yr. avg. revenue: 130 million) worked on that page one, five column wide, above the fold story ? And they all were supposed to approve it, right?

Early Fri. am, 4/13 I finished a post “Joan Foster and Cash Michaels.”

Much later Fri. am, 3/13 I was working on a post comparing current H-S and N&O positions re: Nifong subsequent to Cooper’s statement.

In the midst of that I got a heads up on Charns’ press release and stopped work on the H-S and N&O post to move on Charns.

And there was professional work and family and friends to squeeze in.

I know I’m leaving blog stuff out but you get the idea.

It’s now 1 am Saturday and this blogger needs to go to bed.

But I’ll be back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, thanks to those of you who today and other days help keep the threads civil and thoughtful places.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Trolls and “limits-testers”

Trolls are a lot like those kids in junior high who were happy to see one kid hurt another kid. They pretended to be innocent while they “passed” messages that got one kid angry and ready to fight another.

Some were so mean that would even say to another kid who’d lost his hair following chemo-therepy: “I’m really sorry that other kid called you ‘Baldy.’ I’d never call you “Baldy.”

Mean and envious kids like that grow up to be trolls commenting at blogs.

One of the most satisfying things about being a blogger is the chance I get to hit the flush key.

The overwhelming majority of you at JinC understand and support flushing.

You also understand this is my blog and the trolls are free to start their own blogs or go to the millions of other blogs and complain or try to do at those blogs what mean kids in junior high do.

I’ll keep hitting that flush key.

“Limits testers” are those who may have a legitimate purpose but test the limits of this blog in a variety of ways.

I’m not one for foul language. I don’t want it at JinC. Some LTs have started using foul language in comments.

One LT who has made some very worthwhile comments here got into LT foul language deliberately.

I gave him a pass because, among other reasons, it was a few days before what I was confident would be the dismissal of the charges, and this particular LT had, as a citizen journalist, made many comments relevant to the falseness of the charges.

So I didn’t want to delete that LT on the eve.

But in the future I will quickly and finally.

Other LTs think this is a place for nasty name calling and personal attacks on each other, kind of like some cheap bar.

No, it’s not.

Just recently some few commenters have decided JinC is a good place to spew their venom. Let’s “hate the 88,” they say. Publish their names. Again and again.


What you “hate the 88” are doing is disgusting and dangerous.

I abhor what just about all of the 88 have done. I think Duke should take a serious look at whether some of them can be discharged from Duke because of violating DU rules governing faculty conduct.

There’s a lot more I think about the 88, and I’ll be saying some of that and supporting it with facts in the not too distance future.

I hope what I say encourages more responsible DU faculty to speak out and expose and isolate the 88 and their faculty and administration supporters.

Meanwhile, to “hate 88” commenters who’ve begun showing up here and posting lists: Stop.

If you must keep doing it, join the trolls and find another blog where you’ll feel “at home.”

And don’t bother with the “but, but, John, what I and others who believe in free expression were ….”

I’ll hit the delete button.

Then you go find one of the 7 million plus blogs where you’ll feel at home.

All of you sensible people reading this post know a lot is happening now that important.

You’ll understand that I’ll be flushing and deleting and you don’t have to ask if I mean you.

A UNC law prof has just posted an article at Slate saying what many of us have been saying for months: Nifong is very likely liable for criminal charges.

You’ve seen Charns’ email to media.

And so much more.

To paraphrase Duke’s President, Richard (“Whatever they did was bad enough”) Brodhead, this is no time to be playing Troll and LT games.

I hope you also take a look at this post: “Saluting citizen journalists.”

It’s about almost all of you.


Saluting citizen journalists

Readers Note: JinC has its share of Trolls and "limits-testers."

Mostly I do what sensible bloggers do: delete and move on.

Today something rare: I said something about "Trolls and 'limits-testers.'"

I won't encourage you to look at the post; that's your call.

Life is short and there are so many wonderful people auch as the citizen journalists I write about in the post below.


We had citizen journalist before we had the United States of America.

Decades before the Declaration of Independence was signed, citizen journalists were putting information and opinions in print and before their fellow townspeople.

Benjamin Franklin was one of them. After working a long day and well into the night as a commercial printer, Franklin would put on a print sheet his opinions on an event or issue of the day. Other times, he gave the people of Philadelphia facts “the powers that be” were withholding or that Franklin just thought they should know. Then he’d circulate what he wrote around town.

Sometimes Franklin signed his name; most often he used a pseudonym. Remember Poor Richard?

Franklin wasn’t alone in using a pseudonym. Those citizen journalists and Founders – Madison, Jay and Hamilton - used Publicus when they published The Federalist Papers.

Since March 25, 2006 when the Raleigh News & Observer first published what reporters Anne Blythe and Samiha Khanna must have known was a fraud story of a young mother brutally gang-raped by three lacrosse players whose teammates where covering up for them, citizen journalists have been complaining to the N&O and countering the false statements in the N&O story about a night the N&O said ended in “sexual violence.”

Those citizen journalists have been ignored and abused by the N&O, other media and even some blogs.

But they've stayed at it. Just as Franklin did, they've helped inform others and lead them to productive thinking.

They gave their supporting voices to those in MSM and blogging who were seeking truth.

They supported the campaign to recall Nifong. They wrote letters to the editor and called reporters.

They spread the word on forums and in chat groups.

And something else this blogger especially appreciates: They fact-checked folks and pointed out errors.

Well, I better stop praising citizen journalists lest they all get swell heads and say to themselves: “Hey, JinC ain’t so bright. Why can’t we be a bloggers?”

I don’t want things to get to go to that extreme.

On the other hand, I don’t want the week to end at JinC without expressing my admiration and appreciation for all that citizen journalists have done to help unravel the Hoax and stop the frame-up.

Such citizen journalists acted in the best Ben Franklin tradition.

For Regulars & Readers - Short


So much is happening.

I want to post on a lot of it.

Khanna and the Mar. 25 N&O fraudulent story. Don't forget another reporter, Anne Blythe, and lots of editors were involved in that story.

Most recent H-S and N&O edits on Nifong.

N&O consideration of barring citizen journalist who comment anonymously

Second letter to Moneta

And lots more.

I've many professional meetings now.

I'll be back in touch with you by late tonight.




Readers Note: JinC Regulars know Alex Charns is one of North Carolina’s leading attorneys in the areas of constitutional law and police malfeasance. Since last May I’ve been reporting and commenting on Charns work representing an unindicted Duke lacrosse player Charns believes was libeled, as were his teammates, by a Durham CrimeStoppers poster telling the community a “horrific crime” had been committed the night of March 13/14 the players attended.

The CS poster text was produced by Durham Police Cpl. David Addison who serves as CS coordinator (both DPD and Durham CS state they are separate organizations). The text was sent in email form to area media. Copies of the text on a “Wanted” poster were subsequently distributed in the community by DPD on department letter head.

If you’re new to the story, see this post: Addison Series #5 – “Major Duke Involvement” for background and links to related posts.

Also, a facsimile of a CS “Wanted” poster distributed by Durham Police can be viewed at a post here.

Charns has just released to media the following email. I hope other bloggers copy or link. The word needs to get out there.



Dear members of the media:

Last spring you or your news organization received an e-mail with the attached Duke Lacrosse Wanted Poster or an e-mail with the same text about "This horrific crime."

Has Cpl. Addison, CrimeStoppers, the Durham Police Department or city of Durham officials apologized to the 46 exonerated Duke Lacrosse players? If so, I haven't heard them. One city council member suggested that Mike Nifong should resign, but who at city hall has asked for a review of faulty Durham police procedures that allowed 46 innocent young men to be vilified as gang rapists or witnesses to a gang rape in a Durham police poster?

I've not seen any reports that anyone at city hall has asked why Durham Police officers e-mailed and posted an incendiary and outrageously false poster last spring (that included an official Durham police header) which read in part: "The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community." (I've attached it and included it in the text below.)

I'm still waiting for Cit Manager Patrick Baker's response to my request last year to make public the Durham police review, if any, of the DPD's Duke Lacrosse Wanted Poster. I've copied Mr. Baker and the members of city council with this e-mail hoping to finally get a reply.

I work in Durham. I live in Durham. I'd like to see my city officials publicly apologize for what city employees did to these 46 students.

By the way, it would be nice if the apology was sent to the same media outlets that received the original e-mail, including: Editor Que Pasa; Herald Sun; WRAL; G105; News and Observer; Saunders, Barry; Time Warner Cable; Triangle Tribune; UPN; WB22; WNCN; WRAL; WTVD; and WUNC.

For purposes of full disclosure, I represent one of the 43 players who was not charged.

Thank you,
Alex Charns

Charns & Charns Attorneys at Law

Joan Foster & Cash Michaels

Joan Foster was one of the first “citizen journalists” to speak out at the Raleigh News & Observer’s Editors’ Blog on behalf of the Duke lacrosse players and honest journalism.

Joan has never wavered in her commitment to the players’ cause and to honest journalism.

But to borrow a phrase from the N&O’s Ruth (“You know you know”) Sheehan, something must have “gone horribly wrong” for Joan, because the next thing any of her many admirers knew, she’d become a blogger.

I don’t know about you, but my parents raised me not to say to people things like: “Geez, Joan, you were a citizen journalist. Now you’re a blogger. What happened? Do you need help getting your life back together?”

So I can't tell you how she fell from being a citizen journalist to blogging.

Cash Michaels is a columnist for The Wilmington Journal. He and I have had a few email exchanges concerning racially tinged incidents associated with the Duke Hoax. Our exchanges have been civil and productive.

While not a regular reader of Michaels, when I read his columns I'm impressed with his writing skills. He has a fine command of vocabulary; his sentences “move” and convey meaning.

As much as I admire Michaels’ written language skills, the content of what he writes is another matter.

I had hoped when the Hoax first drew national attention that Michaels would emerge as one of the “voices” I’d pay attention to. I hoped many others would as well.

But I no longer pay much attention to Michaels. It’s because he uses his columns to pass on to his readers things like the following:

With the exception of the three team co-captains that lived at the house – Matt Zash, Dan Flannery and Dave Evans - authorities maintain that none of the other team members present ever spoke to the police, though 46 players (excluding the lone black team member) were compelled to submit DNA samples to Durham police.
And this:
“A week and a half after the incident, police obtained a court order that 46 of the 47 men on the team be required to give DNA samples,” reported Newsweek Magazine in its April 10 edition. “By now the parents were hearing about the incident, and they began hiring lawyers, who told the young men to remain silent.”
And even this:
“We’re not saying that all 46 were involved,” Durham Police Cpl. David Addison, a department spokesman, told ABC News. “But we do know that some of the players inside that house on that evening knew what transpired and we need them to come forward.”
Now, that was all standard framing last March and April when the Raleigh News & Observer led a vicious and racially inflammatory attack by most of media on a group of white Duke students.

If Michaels’ writings above were written last April, I’d say he was nothing so much as just like many others in media.

But all of the above appeared in Michaels’ January 27, 2007 column!

Can you believe that!

January 27, 2007 was more than six weeks after DNA expert Meehan admitted he and Nifong had conspired to withhold exculpatory evidence; and after the NC State Bar had brought one set of ethics charges; and after the Bar had brought a second set of ethics charges against Nifong; and after public pressure had forced Nifong to recuse himself from the case.

By late January 2007 even Cpl. David Addison was no longer shilling the false “we need them to come forward” line. By that time, if Addison has any sense, he was talking to an attorney about what he could do to save himself from what will surely happen to DPD Sgt. Gottlieb and Inv. Himan.

But Michaels ran that stuff without any qualification or information to his readers about how discredited it now is.

Michaels could've stood out for helping unravel the Hoax and seeking justice. Instead, he's earned himself a place alongside such Hoax luminaries as Nancy Grace, Bob Ashley, and Dick Brodhead.

Joan Foster has just written a wonderful poem concerning some of those who might have emerged from the Hoax with their reputations enhanced but instead acted in ways that left them scorned figures in the eyes of many. Michaels is one of them. Joan’s poem begins:
Late last night, in the Know Bookstore, I noticed a small band.
They sat like mourners from the gravesite, their hankies in their hands.
I motioned to a regular, who were these people, so bereaved?
"Why that's "The Nifong-Must-Have-Something Club"... still struggling to believe."…

"Cash Michaels is the pensive guy...he almost got it right.
He might have been The Hero now, but he "caved" and left the fight.
From truth to trolling message boards, Sister Survivor's web defender.
He moans aloud, 'I had my chance! I could have been a real Contender!'..."
Cash Michaels had the gifts and skills to get it right.

Reading what I have of Michaels’ Hoax coverage has been painful. As Joan makes clear,with the passing of time he sank lower and lower.

Michaels, like Nifong, seemed determined to do things sensible people knew would hurt him in the end. Reading Michaels on the Hoax has been like watching one big Cash trashes Cash transaction.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Duke’s faculty gets an “F”

I often talk with Duke A&S and Trinity faculty. Most of them are quite upset about what’s happened the past year since Chrystal Mangum made her false witness which so many of them embraced.

What upsets most of them, including some senior faculty I’ve spoken with yesterday and today, is not the grossly unjust treatment David Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and their families have received from Duke, DA Nifong and certain Durham Police officers.

No, it the criticism they’ve received from alums, parents, some pundits, and even, many report, from academics at other colleges and universities. Most faculty believe the criticisms are unfair. In the words of one: “They outrage us even as we try to stay calm.”

Well, in that case I’ve some advice for the faculty: Don’t read today’s Rocky Mountain News editorial by editorial page editor Vincent Carroll. If you do, you’re likely to go from mere outrage to irreversible apoplexy.

For the rest of you Carroll begins:

The most remarkable fact about the Duke lacrosse fiasco is not that it took nearly a year for obviously flimsy charges to be dropped against the players….

Nor is it the fact that District Attorney Mike Nifong would so crudely exploit stereotypes of well-to-do white male athletes in order to entice black votes in a re-election campaign. …

The most remarkable feature of this legal debacle isn’t even the cheerleading for the prosecution that could be found in such major media as The New York Times….

No, the most astonishing fact, hands down, was and remains the squalid behavior of the community of scholars at Duke itself.

For months nearly the entire faculty fell into one of two camps: those who demanded the verdict first and the trial later, and those whose silence enabled their vigilante colleagues to set the tone.
Carroll goes on to cite KC Johnson:
“In late March (2006),” Johnson writes, “Houston Baker, a professor of English and Afro-American Studies, issued a public letter denouncing the ‘abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us’ and demanding the ‘immediate dismissals’ of ‘the team itself and its players.’

A week later, on April 6, 88 members of Duke’s arts and sciences faculty signed a public statement saying ‘thank you’ to campus demonstrators who had distributed a ‘wanted’ poster of the lacrosse players and publicly branded the players ‘rapists.’ By contrast, no Duke professor publicly criticized Nifong’s conduct.” …
Carroll notes a “few Duke professors did acquit themselves well or eventually locate some semblance of a spine.”He ends with this:
But for the most part the faculty either supported the branding of three athletes as racists and rapists, didn’t care enough about their plight to speak out, or were cowed into suppressing any call of conscience.

Would those athletes, facing a similarly dubious claim of rape, have fared any better at America’s other elite universities? The idealist yearns to answer yes. The realist, sad to say, knows better.
Carroll’s editorial is here.

I hope Duke faculty who see this post will comment on the thread.

I also hope academics at other institutions will weigh in.

I think Carroll’s assessment of Duke’s faculty is fact-based and on the money.

How about you?

Hat tip: Mike Williams

Churchill and the Duke Innocent

Readers Note:

The post which follows recounts a series of remarkable events which occurred in England during the spring and summer of 1902.

You’ll quickly see some close similarities between those events and much of what’s occurred during the Duke Hoax.

Parts of this post appeared in a previous Churchill Series post.

This post is meant as a tribute to all of you who worked in various ways with whatever time and resources you had to help David Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and their families get to yesterday and NC Attorney General Roy Cooper’s statement: “Innocent.”


In May 1902, the first of a series of arson fires broke out at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

After the fifth fire, the Commandant issued an order: If the guilty were not identified within forty-eight hours, every cadet housed in barrack “C,” where the fires had occurred, would be dismissed for a term unless he could prove he wasn’t in the barrack “C” area at the time of the fire.

The cadets, twenty-nine in all, included three who had already been investigated in connection with previous fires and cleared of any involvement.

Now they and their fellow cadets would all be sent down for a term, something that would forever stain their military records and reputations.

The order also said that if the arsonist was not identified, three aged servants in “C” barrack, all former career soldiers, would be summarily sacked.

The hours passed; no one came forward. After endorsements by the Army Commander-in-Chief, Lord Frederick Roberts, and the Secretary of State for War, the order took effect: The cadets were sent down; the servants dismissed.

The order’s injustices might have gone uncorrected but for the actions of a handful of members of the House of Commons, and later, a few members of the House of Lords, including, as it turned out, Lord Roberts himself.

Winston Churchill, then twenty-seven and sitting in his first Parliament, was one of those few who took up the cadets’ cause. He interviewed them, documented the circumstances of the fires and demanded to know why the cadets were being punished for not identifying the arsonist when nobody had proved any of the cadets knew who the arsonist was.

In a letter to The Times of London, Churchill reported: “All the cadets I have seen strenuously deny any complicity with the offences.” He then said the cadets' and servants’ treatment was a travesty which violated “three cardinal principles of equity:”

“that suspicion in not evidence; that accused should be heard in their own defense; and that it is for the accuser to prove his charge, not for the defendant to prove his innocence.”
Churchill’s letter drew a quick, sharp rebuke from the Reverend Frederick Westcott, headmaster of one of England’s leading public schools, who said soldiers had to learn the lessons of group punishment:
“The innocent, doubtless, suffer with the guilty; but then they always do. The world has been so arranged.”
Well, you’re thinking what Westcott must have gotten a roaring reply from Churchill, and you’re right.

Churchill’s official biographer, Martin Gilbert, tell us about the reply and what followed :
“Has it indeed?” Churchill asked in his reply [published in The Times] on July 8.

No doubt Westcott had taken care “that the little world over which he presides is arranged on that admirable plan, but it is necessary to tell him that elsewhere the punishment of innocent people is regarded as a crime, or as a calamity to be prevented by unstinting exertion.”

So long as the “delinquencies of a schoolmaster” were within the law, Churchill added, “the House of Commons has no right to intervene, but when a Commander-in-Chief and a Secretary of State are encouraged to imitate him, it is time to take notice.”

Churchill wanted to discuss the Sandhurst punishments in the Commons. But [Prime Minister] Balfour…refused to allow time for any such debate [so] Churchill [arranged to have the matter] raised in the Lords.

During the debate there, the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Roberts, agreed that each individual case would be investigated and that no innocent cadet would lose a term of study.
Lord Roberts did review each cadet and servant's case individually. Twenty-seven of the twenty-nine cadets elected to return to Sandhurst. The three servants were reinstated. The Commandant was dismissed because of "the general disorderliness" at Sandhurst. No arsonist was ever identified.

Just why Lord Roberts took the extraordinary step of, in effect, overruling himself and the Government has never been entirely clear. I discuss the question in a post, “Roberts and Churchill.”

There are many reasons why the Duke Hoax witch hunt and frame-up got as far as they did. One has to do with the willingness of so many nowadays to let their sexual, racial and gender biases govern their actions when they should be guided by the principles and rights that come to us from the English common law.

I’ll end this post with Churchill’s words, a reminder of precious rights that guided so many of you this past year as you worked towards yesterday’s “Innocent:”
“that suspicion in not evidence; that accused should be heard in their own defense; and that it is for the accuser to prove his charge, not for the defendant to prove his innocence.”
Accounts of the Sandhurst events can be found in many, but not all, Churchill biographies. For this post, in addition to Martin Gilbert’s Churchill: A Life, I relied on Randolph S. Churchill’s Winston S. Churchill, Young Statesman:1901-1914, and Ted Morgan’s, Churchill, Young Man in a Hurry: 1874-1915

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Praise Nifong? Not Johnsville

Was it just a few months ago that Durham DA Mike Nifong was receiving effusive and repeated praise from the editorial page editors at the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald Sun for his handling of what both papers called the "Duke rape case?"

Yes, it was.

The N&O and H-S's support meant a great deal to Nifong. Without their support, Nifong might very well have lost the November, 2006 election campaign.

Imagine what would have happened then.

But thanks to the active support of the N&O and H-S and the silence of Duke's President, Richard ("Whatever they did was bad enough") Brodhead, as well as “Dick's leadership team" of top Duke administrators and many faculty, Nifong won the election.

Nifong no doubt likes them all.

There are, however, those Nifong surely doesn't like because they opposed him.

Nifong's already told the NC State Bar, now moving to disbar him, that from his point of view: "It was really all Jason Trumpbour and Friends of Duke University's fault."

Can you believe that? Attorney General Roy Cooper didn’t.

Then there's The Johnsville News, one of my favorite blogs for information and justice advocacy.

I'm sure TJN is on Nifong's "enemies list" along with FODU.

That's one of the reasons why I visit them both every day.

BTW - Some people think of TJN as only a great aggregator. Yes, it's that, but it's also so much more.

One of the things TJN does extremely well is summarize what's most important. Here's how TJN began it's post today:

Roy Cooper delivers the truth. The Hoax is over. Nifong is a "rogue prosecutor." Crystal Gail Mangum is a mentally unbalanced liar. Let sweet justice shine!
Can any of us say it any better?

Glad you’re back in town, TJN.


NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said it: “Innocent!”

And look at all Cooper added: “no credible evidence,” the false accuser’s statements “could not be rectified,” “no DNA,” “no other witness” confirmed what she said, “she contradicted herself.”

More: “Durham DA pushed ahead unchecked,” “statements were made publicly that turned out to be not true,” “rogue prosecutor.”

And this: Cooper said he didn’t know if Chrystal Mangum has “ever told the same story twice.”

I don’t think anyone who’s followed the case knows whether she’s ever told the same story twice. Trying to keep track of the stories Mangum has told is almost as hard as keeping count of the number of false statements Nifong’s made.

Yes, Nifong will be disbarred. I think criminal charges will be brought against him too. And I think Cooper does too.

If you’re the state Attorney General you don’t call a DA “rogue” unless your pretty sure sometime down the road he’ll face trial.

I listened to the talking heads on Fox. I think they have it wrong about law suits. Sure, law suits are usually tough to succeed at but there are a lot of differences with this case.

I doubt the Fox talking heads, for instance, know in any detail about the Durham Crimestoppers’ poster.

Police are not supposed to tell the community a citizen is a criminal unless there’s very, very strong evidence for that. Cooper made clear today what most of you have known: there never was credible evidence anyone on the Duke lacrosse team had committed what Durham Police Cpl. and Crimestoppers Coordinator David Addison called “this horrific crime.”

Attorneys in Durham tell me the players have a very strong case for civil suits against Durham Police, Durham Crimestoppers and Durham City. The suits will be for both slander (Addison’s spoken statements to media accusing the players of committing crimes) and libel (the printed Crimestoppers poster on a Durham Police header and very likely the CS emails sent to media)

There are other causes for action in suits.

Where was Nifong’s staff? The last I heard about Nifong staff was a few weeks ago. The staff was honoring him at some sort of appreciation luncheon.

I’ll ask a Nifong staff related question: Is it possible the NC State Bar needs to look at the actions of some of Nifong’s Assistant DAs?

What about the Durham Police investigators who helped Nifong with the frame-up? Who will take a look at what they did?

We’re still in the early stages of this Hoax case.

Message to Collin Finnerty, David Evans, Reade Seligmann, their teammates, families, Coach Pressler and his family: You showed tremendous strength, courage and class. I’m very happy for you all and so is every decent person in America today.

Message to the Duke Women’s lacrosse team and its coaches: Thank you. At a time when so many at Duke failed to be fair or to do their duty, you stepped up and said just what needed to be said: INNOCENT.

More later.

Remember Rev. Jesse Jackson's offer?

From the start of the Hoax and frame-up many people have acted with good sense and decency, even sometimes with great courage.

Then there were other people like Rev. Jesse Jackson, arguably America's best-known self-promoter.

Here's a JinC post from April 16, 2006, one day before DA Mike Nifong fraudulently indicted two young men - Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann - whom Nifong and certain police helping him knew to be innocent.


The Associated Press reports:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday his Rainbow/Push Coalition will pay the college tuition of a woman who told police she was raped by members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team while working as a stripper -- no matter the outcome of the case.

"I can't wait ... to talk with her and have prayer with her, because our organization is committed, when she's physically and emotionally able ... to provide for her the scholarship money to finish school so she will never ... again have to stoop that low to survive," he said from Chicago in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

When asked, the civil rights leader also said his group will pay for the woman's tuition even if her report proves false. …
So, you want a college scholarship? You got it. And you don’t even need to study hard and get good grades so long as you can make a false rape accusation.

All you parents, teachers, and guidance counselors: be sure to let high school students know how they can become eligible for a Rev. Jackson scholarship.

Jackson's really helping change America, isn't he?

The AP says nothing about what Jackson, regarded by some as a civil rights leader, plans to provide victims falsely accused by his scholarship winners.

Folks, I know we all hope the AP interviews Jackson tomorrow. He needs to tell America whether he plans to pay any of the legal bills the Finnerty, Evans and Seligmann families will have to pay as a result of the false witness given by the first Jesse Jackson Scholar, Chrystal “Precious” Mangum.

To The Chronicle: Yes And ????s

Readers Note: I plan to rework the following post and leave it on the comment thread of today’s Chronicle editorial, “The Role of Media.”

For those of you who may not have been following the Hoax and frame-up closely, The Chronicle is Duke's student newspaper.


The Chronicle’s editorial today begins:

A week ago, radio host Don Imus made a reprehensible decision. On his popular nationwide show last Wednesday morning, Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball players as "nappy-headed hos."

The description was shocking, but Imus didn't stop there. He used other antiquated racial slurs to describe the predominantly black team. The situation was, in a word, deplorable-not to mention painful to hear unfold on the airwaves.
Yes to all of that. The Chronicle has that right. I couldn’t agree with the editorial board more.

Imus should have apologized and his two week suspension seems, if anything, less than he deserves.

The Chronicle also has it right when it continues:
It also struck home for many at Duke, as we have a high-profile, successful women's basketball team and Imus' remarks pointed to unfortunate stereotypes held by some when it comes to women's basketball and sports in general.
I was glad to see The Chronicle speaking out about “unfortunate stereotypes” but why did it wait so long?

Last spring many in media attacked the members of Duke’s Women’s lacrosse team as spoiled “little girls” and worse because the women said what needed to be said: “Innocent!” The attacks have continued this year, with some of them downright venomous.

The Chronicle has responded with silence. Why?

The coaches and players on the 2006 Women’s lacrosse team deserve our admiration and thanks for what they did in the name of reason and justice.

I hope when The Chronicle finishes defending Rutgers’ Women’s basketball team, it finds time to condemn those who’ve ridiculed and dismissed the Duke women.

The Chronicle might also want to tell us why it thinks the women laxers “got it right” while the men in the Allen Building and many others at Duke got so much wrong. Remember: “Whatever they did was bad enough?”

The Chronicle should tell the Duke community why it has never said anything editorially about the racist threats, including death threats, shouted at Reade Seligmann last May 18, first outside the Durham County Courthouse and then again inside the courtroom.

Why were there no critical words from The Chronicle directed at those making the threats?

Why were there no supportive and comforting words to Reade, his parents and his attorney, the late Kirk Osborn, who all endured the racists’ harassment and threats?

And why won’t The Chronicle question those – the trustees, President Brodhead, his “team,” and almost all faculty – who said nothing on May 18 and have remained silent since? They all had a duty to speak up last May.

I applaud The Chronicle for condemning Imus and supporting the women athletes at Rutgers. Now what about events here at Duke and the treatment of Duke athletes, both women and men?

The Chronicle's editorial is here.

Coleman and Johnson led the way

North Carolina’s Attorney General, Roy Cooper, is almost surely about to announce the dismissal of frame-up charges Durham DA Mike Nifong, with help from certain Durham Police officers and enablement by most media, and many at Duke and in Durham, brought against three innocent young men - Collin Finnerty, David Evans and Reade Seligman.

Cooper’s dismissal will be justice delayed but at least some measure of justice after a year-long witch hunt and monumental injustices which began for the public on March 24, 2006 when the Raleigh News & Observer “broke” what it called “the Duke lacrosse rape case” with a story in which it seven times told the rest of media and readers the woman making the accusations Cooper will dismiss was “the victim.”

Later today the airwaves will be filled with “experts” explaining why Cooper did what he did. Tonight’s evening news, later the cable “shout shows,” and tomorrow’s newspapers will also explain why Cooper got involved and did what he did.

As you watch and listen to what all the experts will be telling you, keep a short checklist handy. It only need two words – surnames really – on it.

If “your expert” doesn’t mention at least one of the two on your list, click to another channel, get another newspaper or better yet, “follow the blogs.”

The two names that need to be on your list: Coleman and Johnson.

Ten months ago in June, 2006 the N&O published Duke law professor James A Coleman’s letter which began:

Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong should ask the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor for the rape case against three Duke lacrosse players and then remove himself and his office from further involvement.

This is the only way to restore some degree of public confidence in the handling of the case. Up to now, virtually everything that Nifong has done has undermined public confidence in the case. …

Whatever the truth is, Nifong can no longer personally restore public confidence in the prosecution of this case.

Someone with professional detachment and unquestioned integrity must review the case and determine whether the evidence against the three students warrants further prosecution. That would serve the best interest of the alleged victim, the three defendants and public.
In that same June, 2006 Brooklyn College history professor Robert KC Johnson, who blogs at Durham-in-Wonderland, published a post, “Roy Cooper’s Silence.” Johnson said in part:
The [North Carolina] attorney general’s office includes one section, the special prosecutions division, which can handle prosecution of local cases.

Cooper’s public information officer told me that the office doesn’t keep track of how many cases the special prosecutions division has handled; she gave a similar reply to a News and Observer reporter two years ago. A Lexis/Nexis search indicates that the division has tried at least a few cases since 2000. Moreover, the protocols for the attorney general acting (which aren’t available on-line) seem to have been written with this case in mind.Indeed, under the protocols, there are at least four grounds for the special prosecutions division to handle the case.(emphasis added)
Ten months ago Coleman and Johnson led the way.

Today, they deserve our admiration and thanks.

I don’t know about you but if I hear an “expert” today opining on the TV or tomorrow in print without mentioning at least one of them, it will be “click and toss aside” at JinC.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Explanation To The N & O

Readers Note: I just left the following comment at the Raleigh News & Observer’s Editors’ Blog post, “The environment – a call for ideas”

Dan Barkin is one of the N&O three deputy managing editors.

This is my first time commenting to him.


Dear Editor Barkin,

I’m an N&O subscriber and blog as John in Carolina.

For an upcoming article in Sunday’s Q section, you’re asking readers to share “strategies for protecting the environment.” You also say: “[It] would be helpful if you would include your ‘real’ name (as opposed to carymama23).”

I’d like to offer, Editor Barkin, things our family does to save energy. But are you going to reject anything I offer simply because I use a pseudonym?

I hope not.

Pseudonym’s have a long and respected history. One of America’s greatest journalists and publishers, Benjamin Franklin, often used pseudonyms.

And I don’t doubt you know about Publius, and the reasons why Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay used that pseudonym when they wrote The Federalist Papers.

I want to share with you and readers here at the Editors’ Blog one of the most important reasons why I use a pseudonym.

Back in 2004 when I first thought about blogging, I sought advice from many people. I told them one of my blog goals would be to call attention to the N&O’s liberal/leftist bias.

I also wanted to point out N&O factual errors, slanted writing and important news the N&O ignored, news that contradicted its political agenda evident in its news columns and on its editorial page.

I hoped by doing that I’d encourage the editors to make your news columns less biased and more fact-based.

Almost everyone said: “Don’t bother trying.” They included journalists friends I talked to, every one of whom went on to say the N&O would react not by trying to improve, but by ignoring or misrepresenting what I said.

They also warned me that if the blog started to have any impact, the N&O would come after me any way it could.

Those journalists helped persuade me to us a pseudonym. And as JinC has had an impact, they’ve been proven right.

But instead of giving a litany of what some at the N&O have done to me and others who criticize it, I want to offer a much more important example of how unfairly and cruelly the N&O often treats people: its treatment of the students at Duke who played on the school’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team.

After Duke had expressed concerns about the lacrosse players’ safety, the N&O want ahead and published anonymously on April 2, 2006, a Sunday, your highest circulation day, the “Vigilante” poster photo containing face photos of 43 white lacrosse players, all identified by name.

Although exec editor Melanie Sill has said it was only a “small” photo, it was actually two columns wide, 7.25 inches long, and placed on the most prominent part of the page: top right-center (the 4th and 5th columns of a 6 column page).

I’m told that because of the size of your “Vigilante” poster photo, those seeking to identify and target the students could easily enlarge your photo with a very good resolution that would allow for easy recognition of the players.

On the same day you published the “Vigilante” poster, you ran a story reporting that Duke VP for Student Affairs Larry Moneta had taken the extraordinary but, in my opinion, reasonable step of cautioning Duke students about their safety after attacks on Duke students and a rumor of a possible drive-by shooting.

After Duke had expressed particular concerns for the safety of the lacrosse players and right at the time Moneta was warning all students about threats to their safety, the N&O published its “Vigilante” poster photo.

The N&O knew or should have known it was adding to the endangerment of all Duke students; and particularly to the danger the students pictured on your anonymous “Vigilante” poster photo already faced, forty-three young people, many still in their teens.

Now, if the N&O would do something like that to young people who’d done you no harm, what might you do to people who are speaking up and exposing your bias, factual errors and news manipulation?

I hope you can understand now why many people use pseudonyms when criticizing the N&O while others, such as those who hold or seek public office, just remain silent.

I look forward to your response.

I hope you’ll say that pseudonymously submitted suggestions for energy conservation are as welcome as energy conservation suggestions from those at the N&O who made the decision to publish the anonymous “Vigilante” poster photo and who are themselves anonymous to N&O readers and the rest of the public.


John in Carolina

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Churchill Series – Apr. 9, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Yes, Churchill had a fierce temper. But his outbursts were like most summer thunderstorms: fierce but brief. Roy Jenkins in Churchill: A Biography (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) reprints an eyewitness account of one such Churchill “storm.”

It happened the night of the 1929 General Election. Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s Conservative government, was with Baldwin and a few others at 10 Downing Street as the voting returns were coming in. To use the old newspaper cliché, it turned out to be a “very long night” for the Conservatives. They were trounced by their Labour opponents.

Back then, the “latest technology” for reporting the returns was teletype machines which would print out messages sent by telegraph letter by letter and word by word on a paper tape.

People often stood the machines and watched whatever was coming 'across the tape" get typed out, much as you or I can stand behind someone word processing and watch letters and words appear on the monitor.

The election night witness recounts:

At one desk sat Winston … doing lists in red ink, sipping whiskey and soda, getting redder and redder, rising and going over to glare at the [tape] machine himself, hunching his shoulders, bowing his head like a bull about to charge.

As Labour gain after Labour was announced, Winston became more and more flushed with anger, left his seat and confronted the machine in the passage; with his shoulders hunched he glared at the figures, tore the sheets and behaved as thought if any more Labour gains came along he would smash the whole apparatus. …. (p. 419)
That night began what are commonly called Churchill’s Wilderness Years. Although he retained his own seat in the Epping constituency, and would remain a Member of Parliament until he resigned his seat near the end of his life, he would not hold Cabinet office again for 10 years until upon Britain's entry into WW II he was called to head the Admiralty.

Duke Players Talk (Part 1)

In an interview with their hometown newspaper Duke students Bo Carrington and Steve Schoeffel, members of the 2006 Men’s lacrosse team, tell what it was like for them and their teammates last Spring when almost all media savaged the students while DA Nifong and certain Durham police officers worked the frame-up and Duke’s senior administrators and all but a few of its A&S faculty abandoned their students or outright supported Nifong’s framing.

I hope you read the Charlottesville, VA’s Daily Progress interview story if for no other reason than to admire Covington and Schoeffel’s remarkable maturity. They describe in painful detail Duke’s enablement of the defamation and endangerment of a group of its students who’d committed no crime, and were under relentless attack from some of the most irresonssible elements in the Duke and Durham communities

Carrington and Schoeffel also discuss their expectations for the near future. They’re looking forward to a time not too far off when they and their teammates will be able to say much more about what really happened the night Crystal Mangum made her many false claims.

I want to highlight and comment on a few parts of Carrington and Schoeffel’s story. If you want to read it first, it’s here. I’ll also provide another link at the end of this post.

Their story at dailyprogress. com begins:

Bo Carrington wasn’t wearing anything that suggested he was a lacrosse player. Other than his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, the graduate of Charlottesville’s Covenant School looked like any other student walking across campus.

But on that March afternoon in 2006, Carrington was recognized. Not for whom he is, but for what seemingly everyone on campus - and people across the whole country, for that matter - assumed him to be.

A group of his peers surrounded him and started shouting: “Tell the police what you know! Why are you protecting these rapists?”

It was no organized protest - just a spontaneous demonstration triggered by nothing more than the midfielder’s presence. Two of his teammates had been charged with rape by a stripper hired for a party at a house leased by members of the squad. The campus was outraged and the entire team was being blamed for misconduct.
The writer has it wrong as regards teammates being charged in March; the frame-up hadn’t yet advanced to that point. Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligman weren’t indicted until mid-April, about the time Duke’s President, Richard H. Brodhead said: “Whatever they did was bad enough." (Brodhead now tells says, “I’m one of Nifong’s biggest critics.")

The writer’s error takes nothing away from another very disturbing example of the harassment, defamation and endangerment the lacrosse players were subjected to at Duke last Spring, and still face from unstable and hateful elements on campus the “Brodhead team” has failed to condemn and where necessary, discipline.

Reading what happened to Covington that day brings many questions to mind. Here’s a few of them:

Was Covington recognized, harassed and defamed by students incited by the “Vigilante” poster and Professor Houston Baker’s racist letter condemning the players, demanding their expulsion, and mocking their Constitutional rights?

Why did some Duke faculty and others at the University we had a right to expect would know better praise and thank students such as the ones who surrounded Covington and any and all persons who produced and circulate the “Vigilante” poster?

Further along in the story we find a mention of the:
March 13, 2006, party where Chrystal Gail Mangum, an exotic dancer hired to perform that night, alleged three team members beat, strangled and sexually assaulted her.
Look at that! The Daily Progress names the false accuser.

What will the Raleigh News & Observer, which published anonymously Mangum’s false accusations against the white members of Duke’s lacrosse team say about a newspaper disclosing Mangum’s name?

The N&O says it wants to protect Mangum’s identify because she is a “victim of sex crimes.”

But the N&O has never explained how it determined Mangum is a victim of sex crimes.

Tomorrow I’ll ask the N&O’s public editor, Ted Vaden, that question.

Further on in the story we read:
“We did that [DNA testing] willingly, with the assumption that we had to do this to be sure, and if we could get on with our season and play a game next week, we had no problem walking right in there,” Schoeffel said of the DNA samples, which the players provided on March 22.

The Blue Devils even joked about how a trip to the police station to provide the samples would be a more enjoyable experience than going through a hard day of practice following a defeat the previous night.
The N&O knew the players had been extraordinarily cooperative with Durham Police beginning on March 16 when police first contacted the players.

But the N&O said nothing about their cooperation in its story.

Later in the story:
Schoeffel and Carrington said they still resent the fact that university officials did not include the team in the decision to end the season. To this day, they still haven’t been told what the decision-making process was. (emphasis added)

“We felt like the decision came from up top with absolutely no transparency,” Schoeffel said. “They didn’t bring us through it. There wasn’t any explanation - not even from athletic director [Joe Alleva] - nothing that we knew except everything was being taken from us.”(emphasis added)
Note that the main thrust of what Schoeffel and Carrington have just said is there “wasn’t any explanation.”

Now look at what immediately follows in the story:
John Burness, the senior vice president for public affairs at Duke, confirmed that the players were not involved with the decision and asserted that canceling the season was in the best interest of the school.

“Obviously, we have a lot of information now that we did not have then,” Burness said. “But you’re making your decisions based on the best information you have at the time. Nonetheless, the decision made by the president with the strong support of the board of trustees was made in the best long-term interest of the university and the athletic programs.”
Burness confirms the players weren’t involved in the decision to cancel the season but, at least in the story, doesn’t speak to the players not being told by anyone on the “Dick Brodhead team” why their season, which they reasonably expected could lead to a national championship, was being canceled.

That and Dick Brodhead flying around the country telling alumni groups how well he treated the lacrosse players.

It gets worse as the story continues. You can read it all here.

I may post again on this story. I hope many of you take a look and comment.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Quiet at The Johnsville News

Most of you know The Johnsville News is one of my three “must visit daily” Duke Hoax blogs. (Durham-in-Wonderland and Liestoppers are the other two).

The last few days nothing new has been added at TJN.

Since TJN doesn’t accept emails and I have no idea who the blogger or bloggers is/are there, this is my only means of asking how everything is at TJN.

This is also a good opportunity to hat tip an outstanding blog that’s been a leader in informing the public on the Hoax and bringing closer the day when the false charges will be dismissed.